Donald E. Knuth (1938)


Knuth is author of the legendary multi-volume “The Art of Computer Programming” (TAOCP). This is considered one of the most important writings in computer science. While writing the book he felt that the existing typesetting solutions were inadequate for scientific publications and invented the now de-facto standard TeX.

Knuth pioneers the idea of ‘literate programming’ which proposes programs are written in a natural language (e.g. English) and easily understood by humans.

Fun facts:

  •  To demonstrate the concept, Knuth intentionally referred “Circular definition” and “Definition, circular” to each other in the index of The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1.
  • His books are dedicated, not to his wife or a loved one, but to a computer: “This series of books is affectionately dedicated to the IBM Type 650 computer once installed at Case Institute of Technology, in remembrance of many pleasant evenings.” 

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